Iraq reports 216 new COVID-19 cases, 4,848 in total



The Iraqi health ministry on Tuesday recorded 216 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections to 4,848 in the country.

The new cases were 168 in the capital Baghdad, nine in Nineveh, eight in each of Babil and Erbil, six in Karbala, five in Najaf, three in Basra and Wasit each, two in Salahudin and Diyala each and one in Diwaniyah and Dhi Qar each, the ministry said in a statement.

Meanwhile, six patients died from the coronavirus during the day, five of them in Baghdad’s hospitals and one in Diyala, bringing the death toll in the country to 169, while 2,852 have recovered so far.

A total of 199,367 tests have been carried out since the outbreak of the disease, after 4,920 were done in the past 24 hours, according to the statement.

The current high daily new infections with COVID-19 prompted Salam al-Shimmary, a lawmaker, to call for applying deterrent legal procedures against violators of the curfew.

“The non-compliance with the curfew by some citizens especially in the densely populated areas has been the main reason behind the increase of the number of infections of coronavirus,” al-Shimmary said.

“The health system in Iraq is at stake and is passing through a critical period that requires everyone to cooperate and abide by health recommendations to combat the pandemic,” he added.

Since the outbreak of the disease, Iraq has been taking measures to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, including a nationwide curfew.

On May 10, the Higher Committee for Health and National Safety, headed by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, decided to partially lift the curfew, while full curfew will continue for Friday and Saturday as well as the ongoing Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim festival of breaking the fasting in the wake of the holy month of Ramadan.

On May 18, Health Minister Hassan al-Tamimi said the health authorities decided to impose a curfew on six districts in Baghdad for two weeks to curb the latest increase in COVID-19 cases.

China has been helping Iraq fight the COVID-19 pandemic, through enhancing Iraq’s capability of containing the spread of the contagious disease.

From March 16 to April 26, a Chinese team of seven medical experts spent 50 days in Iraq to help contain the disease, during which they helped build a PCR lab and an advanced CT scanner in Baghdad.

Since March 7, China has also sent three batches of medical aid to Iraq.


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